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Reading includes mulitple skills.  So far we have been talking about "saying" the words, right?  Yep, that is still reading!  For most of us, though, we think of reading as understanding what we read.  From the previous posts we have learned that being able to "say" the words is an integral part of understanding.  Now what?


The next step is fluency





Fluency is more than speedy, accurate word reading; a fluent reader also uses appropriate phrasing and expression. 

Applying Research in Reading Instruction for Adults:  First Steps for Teachers (McShane, 2005, p.49)

A reader's fluency affects his/her comprehension.  If a reader has trouble phrasing, this affects automaticity and slows down reading.  In turn, this affects comprehension.  (Hey, you math people, this is not unlike students learning math facts, is it?  I know that many of you are looking for automaticity on those.)





Principle 8

Fluency is an issue for adult beginning readers, intermediate readers, and perhaps for those reading at more advanced ABE levels.  There are very large differences between adults with good and poor reading fluency, and adult beginning readers' fluency is similar to the fluency of children who are beginning readers.  (Kruidenier, 2002).

Research-Based Principles for Adult Basic Education Reading Instruction (Krudenier, 2002, p.23) 


Most adult beginning readers need work on fluency because fluency depends on rapid accurate word reading, and beginners are, by definition, struggling to read words.  However, even those with higher-level silent reading comprehension scores may need work on fluency and the underlying decoding skills and knowledge, if they are to progress beyond their current levels of reading achievement. 

Applying Research in Reading Instruction for Adults:  First Steps for Teachers (McShane, 2005, p.50)


Need more information about fluency?  As usual, the ARCS website can provide that:

We know that much of the adult reading research is still based on youth and reading; however, you may still want to take a look at the article "New Research on an Old Problem:  A Brief History of Fluency" to get a bigger picture of fluency.

  • Worksheet:  Check out a teaching strategy below by clicking on the title.


Chunking is a technique to encourage the student to read phrases of language that represent meaning rather than separate words.


    1. Regardless of your content area, do you ever have your students read aloud to you? 
    2. If so, what are you discovering when they do that?
    3. What strategies have you used to teach fluency to your students?


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